When everything you touch could be a source of infection, you’re going to want one of the best UV wands to help sanitize your daily possessions.
That might seem like the overreaction of a germaphobe, but new data shows that the germaphobes were right all along. COVID-19 can survive for up to 28 days on money and smartphone screens, according to research from Australia’s national science agency.
You might not think about it because the actions are so mindless, but you’re constantly touching your phone and wallet when you’re out and about in the world. That’s typically fine, but it’s not so fine when you could be passing germs from the environment to the things you touch most and bringing them into your home where they can affect you and anyone you live with.
Though there is no longer a shortage of medical masks out there (you can find great masks for athletics and general-purpose masks from a number of retailers now). But every time you reuse a mask or touch a contaminated surface and then touch something else you risk spreading germs unless you disinfect afterward.
Below, we’ll share the best UV wands for sale right now as well as some basic information on these sanitizers.
Do UV Wands Really Work?
A UV wand can be waved over any object to help kill any viruses on the surface with ultraviolet light, the same kind of invisible light from the sun that can cause sunburn and hurt your eyes. Popular UV sanitizers like PhoneSoap can kill 99.99% of viruses and bacteria on surfaces, but we couldn’t find much research on the effectiveness of UV wands when it comes to stopping the spread of disease or eliminating the coronavirus specifically. Even so, we know many people are investing in UV wands and phone sanitizers for peace of mind alone.
Here’s what we do know about UV wands:
- Ultraviolet light kills bacteria and viruses by irradiating them to death. This process of irradiation, basically pointing too strong of light at the germs, breaks down the genes in bacteria and viruses, effectively rendering them useless.
- To use any UV wand, slowly wave the wand over the given object or surface a few times from a couple of inches away. Taking more passes and/or holding the UV wand over something for a longer period of time will increase the likelihood of disinfecting successfully.
- Never, ever point a UV wand at any person or animal, especially in the skin or eyes. UV light is known to damage living things at certain wavelengths, so you should never point the UV wand at anybody else for any amount of time.
- The wavelength of UV light matters for effectiveness. The germicidal range, or the range of wavelengths of UV light required to kill most germs and bacteria, is between 100-280 nanometers. The vast majority of products that use UV light to disinfect use UV light with wavelengths between 254 and 280 nm. In theory, that range of ultraviolet light should kill E. coli, some varieties of the flu and other common bacteria and viruses.
- But when it comes to the coronavirus, scientists have not yet figured out if those wavelengths kill coronavirus. Studies have only confirmed that UV light at 222 nm kills the novel coronavirus while also being safe enough to use on humans. So while it’s possible the best UV wands in that 254-280 nm range will kill the coronavirus, no studies have specifically shown that.
Here’s the bottom line: the scientific community is still figuring out the effectiveness of UV light on the coronavirus. But remember this: Sunlight really can be the best disinfectant. Studies have shown sunlight to be effective against the coronavirus.
Now that we know a thing or two about what to expect from the best UV wands, check out some of our picks below.
1. Monos CleanPod UVC Wand Sterilizer
The Monos CleanPod UVC Wand Sterilizer stands apart for one main reason: This UV sanitizer wand includes actual evidence of lab testing suggesting its UV actively kills germs, instead of just saying so. In 30 seconds of sweeping, the UVC light takes care of 99.9% of germs and bacteria. Sure, you could find cheaper options out there, but it’s a guessing game as to which UV sanitizer wands are legit and which are phoneys.
And you get other benefits from the price tag. This wand is well-made, travel-sized and charges via USB-C for convenience.
2. Oak & Hearth Portable UV-C Wand
We like the Oak & Hearth Portable UV-C Wand for the same reasons we like the Monos UV sanitizer wand: Both are backed up by actual lab testing to prove their germicidal efficacy. It’s compact, travel friendly and kills 99.9% of surface bacteria. The Monos wand is rechargeable, but this wand runs on four AA batteries, which could be preferable in certain situations. Plus, unlike the Monos wand, the Oak & Hearth wand will kill the UV light if the wand is turned with the bulbs facing up. Safety is always a good feature, especially when it comes in a cheaper package.
3. XINZOKYC UV Light Sanitizer Wand
The XINZOKYC UV Light Sanitizer Wand came to our attention for a simple reason: It’s widely reviewed and praised on Amazon, with over 3,500 five-star reviews and an overall 4.6/5 rating. It’s compact, rated to run for 2,000 hours, features rechargeable batteries and promises 99.9% disinfection. Plus it’s also got a built-in lanyard for easy carrying.
4. Galvanox UV Light Sanitizer Wand
The Galvanox UV Light Sanitizer Wand offers cheap, compact UV-C radiation, great for travel or a kitchen drawer. This wand is rated to run for 10,000 hours and runs on four AA batteries. Just wave the wand over to the object you’d like to disinfect for about three minutes and presto, you’ve killed 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria.
5. Wanderclean UV Light Sanitizer Wand
The Wanderclean UV Light Sanitizer Wand is one of the more compact and well-designed UV wands. It can easily fit into a pocket or hang from your wrist via the included lanyard. In a helpful uncommon feature, this wand features an LCD to show the time and, more importantly, how much battery remains. And when the battery does run out after 2.5 hours, just charge it up with the included cable for endless UV-C sterilization.
6. Wodesid Portable LED UV Sanitizer Wand
For a more sizable UV sanitizer wand, check out the Wodesid Portable LED UV Sanitizer Wand. It promises disinfection with reasonable features at a reasonable price. The wand itself is quite long at 15 inches, with 7-8 inches of UV LED lights in the 270-280 nm range. There’s a hook tip for hanging it and a magnet bottom for holding tools or for securing the wand to a metal surface. It runs on a USB rechargeable battery, features a flashlight, a charging light for the battery and will run for 100 minutes on a 60-minute charge.
7. VNOOKY UV Light Sanitizer
We’ve given you plenty of options for handheld wands, but you might consider a cheap standing UV sanitizer, like the VNOOKY UV Light Sanitizer. Instead of waving this wand around, it stands in a room and casts 360 degrees of UV light for 60 minutes to sanitize the space. Thankfully it comes with built-in safety features, such as an auto-shutoff if motion is detected within 6 meters as well as a delay of 10 seconds before it begins sanitizing a room.
8. GOZYE UV Disinfection Light
For a fancier standing wand especially useful for larger spaces, check out the GOZYE UV Disinfection Light. It can disinfect spaces up to 540 square feet and can run for 15, 30 or 60 minutes. And if you’re worried about kids or animals being exposed, have no fear; the UV light will turn off when it detects motion in the area and the lamp comes with a child safety lock so it can’t even be turned on accidentally.
Activate it with a basic included remote or use the touch screen panel and set the 15-second timer before exiting the room.